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I returned from the Children’s Home and Primary School at the end of September having audited the accounts and observed the new teachers delivering English lessons

During the two hour road journey from Mwanza to Bethany you can see at first hand the living conditions the rural population have to endure where many homes are only fit for animals and yet parents have no choice but to bring up their children in such poverty.

Jesus said that it would be difficult, but not impossible, for the rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven and so this is a solidarity warning to us all that sacrifices are called for to serve the poor in the name of our Lord.

The aims and objectives from the UK are to make Jesus know to our children and young people by teaching them that the fruit of the spirit " is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." We also look after their human need for food, clean water, proper sanitation, a bunk bed with a mosquito net and education from initially our very own Primary School where no beating is permitted which is in stark contrast to government schools.

The orphanage caters for 142 children and young people between the ages of 4 and 18. If they are still in education then Bethany is responsible until they complete their studies, after which they are helped to find a job and become independent. The Book of James, Chapter 1 v 27 describes religion that God accepts as pure and without fault is this: caring for orphans and widows who need help.

There are 204 pupils at our newly established Primary School of which about half come from the adjoining village and comprise one child from the poorest families at a ratio of 2 girls to 1 boy.

Some of our children have special needs, for example are HIV positive and so I thought it would be helpful to tell you about two, in particular. Firstly, Jennifer Amani was abandoned under a tree in the streets of Mwanza (second largest city in Tanzania) on 29th January 2009.  A good Samaritan picked her up and via the social welfare office she was taken to Forever Angels, a baby home which is known to Bethany. During her stay no one came for her and on her fifth (estimated) birthday she transferred to Bethany because nobody else would take her. Jennifer has a mild form of cerebral palsy, but she is able to sit, stand, walk, play and feed herself without any help. I had reservations about her joining because of her needs but the children did not and they were right for it is a blessing to have her.

Secondly Yakobo Stephano has never seen his father.  When his mother was pregnant he left. A good Samaritan helped her when Yakobo was born and she learnt how to use a sewing machine and earn a few shillings to buy some food but still had to beg to be able to survive. She is very grateful to Bethany for his care and education that she can’t afford.

She is disabled (a dwarf) and so is Yakobo.  When he was living with his mother he went hungry, slept on a mat and encountered all sorts of problems and this is what he said “I am very happy and grateful to Bethany. I have been here only a week and, yet I feel so loved, cared for. I sleep on my own bed, it is a very special family to me”     

Our work is funded mainly from private monthly donors, just like you and me, who are usually able to gift aid. However, we have some who give a little because they know what it is like to have a little left after paying for the bare necessities

The monthly donations do not quite match our expenditure (all visitors pay their own travel and accommodation costs) and so we rely on churches like Whalley since we receive no public funding due partly because we are a Christian Charity.     

During my visit I was asked to speak at the Sunday service and choose the Book of Jonah Chap 1 v 1-3. How often have we not trusted God’s word nor done as asked? At a funeral service John Chap 14 v 1 is often quoted Jesus said, “Trust in God trust also in me” and in Matthew Chap 28 v 20 Jesus said, “teach them (his followers) to obey everything”. At Bethany we have learned time and time again to TRUST and OBEY.

Finally, in the Book of Micah we are asked a question which strikes at the heart of our faith. Chap 6 v 8.:  WHAT DOES THE LORD REQUIRE OF YOU? Fortunately, the answer is also given. TO ACT JUSTLY AND TO LOVE MERCY AND TO WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD.

So we have an obligation to look after orphans, widows and the poor which is precisely what Bethany has done over the past 27 years and by God’s grace will continue to do so. Will you prayer fully consider supporting Bethany by giving monthly to the work? Would you like to visit Bethany? If so, please give me a ring on 01254 822004 or send an email to david.a.borland@outlook.com   

David Borland OBE

Trustee & Treasurer